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  • Tim McGill

A Long Summery Stretch For Chicago Is Coming

Turning Up The Heat & Humidity

There should be at least five straight days with highs in the 80s starting on Thursday. If we hit 80° today at O'Hare, that streak could stretch to six days in a row or even more. That would be the longest stretch of 80s since early September. It has been more than eight months since we've seen that level of warmth here in Chicago.

Strong southerly breezes should push highs today well into the 70s with a few spots tagging 80°. Clouds will win out but some peaks of sun are expected with only scattered showers or thunderstorms mainly early today.

Southerly and southwesterly winds will usher in more heat and humidity today and tomorrow. Winds will gusts to 30 mph today and around 25 mph on Thursday. The best chance of rain is up through about midday today then only spotty showers and thunderstorms are possible through Thursday.

Today will be the fourth day in a row with temperatures above average. We will remain well above average all the way through the weekend.

The weekend could contain the warmest two days of this summery stretch. I mentioned in yesterday's post that it is shaping up to be the warmest weekend in nearly nine months.

The temperature anomaly forecast suggests temperatures on Saturday will be about 10° to 15° above average. Average highs for Saturday's date are around 73° so highs should be in the middle to upper 80s. The only fly in the ointment is a cold front that could sag south across the area late Sunday which might send temperatures tumbling into the 50s near the lakeshore.

The GFS model keeps us steamy on Sunday with a forecast of highs in the middle 80s. I think the model is actually running a little cool. I'm looking for highs Sunday in the upper 80s with a few spots tagging 90°.

Several Chances For Rain But Doesn't Add Up

I'll have the latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor tomorrow but it is safe to say the drought has deepened for some portions of the Chicago area over the past week. So far O'Hare is 2.23" of rain below average this month and 6.47 inches of rain below average since March 1st.

The GFS model still shows several chances of rain over the next ten days but it will be coming in the form of just scattered showers and thunderstorms. The best chance for a more widespread significant rain doesn't come until possibly a week from Friday.

The GFS model precipitation accumulation forecast through Monday morning spits out between a third of an inch of rain to around a half inch for northern Illinois. This will help but won't put a significant dent in our ongoing drought.

Warm May Finish But Cooling For June?

The long range temperature probability forecasts for the last week of May into the first day of June both favor Chicago for above average temperatures overall but the probabilities slip in the longer range. This combined with the even longer range subseasonal forecast (discussed below) seems to indicate a slight cooling trend into the beginning of June. The 6-10 day forecast favors us for above average temperatures overall from May 24th through May 28th with Chicago's probability between 60-70%. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast keeps us above average overall from May 26th through June 1st but the probabilities drop. Average highs for this period are in the lower to middle 70s.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast is favoring the Chicago area for a slightly cooler than average last few days of May and first few days of June overall. The average highs for this period are in the middle to upper 70s. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending June 4th has us outlooked to be just a smidge below average overall. The forecast for the following week ending on June 11th has Chicago about average overall.

Hope For Help With The Drought

The longer range precipitation probability forecasts offer some hope that more rainfall could be coming for the end of May to help put a dent in the drought impacting parts of the Chicago area. We are in the bullseye of highest probabilities for above average precipitation in both forecasts. The latest 6-10 day forecast has Chicago favored for above average precipitation from May 24th through May 28th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us favored for above average precipitation overall from May 26th through June 1st as well.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Mostly cloudy, sct. showers/t-storms mainly early High: 80

Thursday: Cloud & sun mix, spotty shower or isolated t-storm possible Low: 64 High: 85

Friday: Cloud & sun mix, warm & humid Low: 67 High: 86

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 68 High: 88

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny, sct. shower/t-storm possible Low: 69 High: 89

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny, sct. shower/t-storm possible Low: 63 High: 84

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny, sct. shower/t-storm possible Low: 65 High: 83 (cooler lakeside)



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